STATE – October is AAA Car Care Month and the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club advises motorists to follow the right maintenance schedule for their vehicle, which can not only help save money, but also the environment.
“Knowing what and when maintenance needs to be performed keeps motorists from over- or under-maintaining their vehicle,” said Danny Ryder, service manager at the AAA Car Care Center in Springfield. “It also cuts down on the over-use of environmentally sensitive products such as motor oil, aids in the conservation of gasoline and can prolong the overall life of a car.”
Are You Over-Changing Your Car’s Oil?
Frequently, motorists believe their cars’ oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, however most late-model vehicles now can go 5,000 to 7,000 miles between oil changes. “Having oil changes performed more frequently than needed is a waste of money and an unnecessary additional burden on the environment,” said Ryder.
Motorists should check the vehicle’s owner’s manual to find out what intervals the manufacturer recommends for changing the oil based on the conditions in which they drive.
A Few Minutes a Month Can Mean Hundreds in Savings
Tire maintenance-including proper inflation and regular rotation/balancing-saves money by extending the life of the tires, as well as reducing the car’s fuel consumption. Extending tire replacement intervals and using less gasoline also provides added benefit to the environment.
“Tires are essential to our vehicles, but they’re frequently overlooked. Taking a few minutes at least once a month to check the tires could extend how long you can drive on them for thousands of miles, and it can improve a car’s gas mileage,” Ryder said.
At least once a month, motorists should inspect each of their tires-including the spare. Check the tire pressure and ensure it’s inflated to the recommended level for the vehicle, NOT the level stamped on the tire.
“One of the biggest mistakes motorists make when inflating their tires is referencing the wrong tire pressure level. Many incorrectly look to the sidewall of the tire. The correct pressure levels can be found on the sticker on the driver’s side door jamb or in the owner’s manual,” Ryder explained.
When checking each tire’s pressure levels, also inspect the sidewalls for cracks or bulges. Check the tread for excessive or uneven wear, which could indicate the need for wheel alignment and/or tire replacement. For maximum life, rotate the tires at the mileage intervals specified in the owner’s manual.
The Road to a Long Car Life Starts with the Owner’s Manual
Following the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule is the best way to keep a car running properly and avoid costly repairs.
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